Character Index

Kids are like kites. You spend a life time trying to get them off the ground. http://sundrystuff.com/kites/images/childkite.gif

Amir – The narrator and the protagonist of the story. Amir is the sensitive and intelligent son of a well-to-do businessman in Kabul, and he grows up with a sense of entitlement. Amir is a gifted storyteller and grows from an aspiring writer to published novelist. His great desire to please his father is the primary motivation for his behavior early in the novel, and it is the main reason he allows Hassan to be raped and beaten by a bully named Assef. From that point forward, Amir is driven by his feelings of guilt as he searches to find a way to redeem himself. Ultimately he does so through courage and self-sacrifice, and he tells his story as a form of penance. Amir opens the novel, saying, “I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975.” (pg.1)      

Hassan – Amir’s constant playmate, as well as a servant of their house.  Amir and Hassan were nursed by the same woman and, unbeknownst to them both, they are half-brothers. Hassan proves himself a loyal friend to Amir repeatedly, defending Amir when he is  bullied or verbally abused. Hassan’s defining traits are bravery, selflessness, and intelligence, though his smarts are more instinctual than bookish, largely because he is uneducated. As a poor ethnic Hazara, Hassan is considered an inferior in the Afghan society.      

Baba – Baba is the father of Amir and Hassan and a wealthy, well-respected businessman. When needed, he is extremely determined and always gets the job done. Although he is not religious, he has strong morals and acts according to them. He stands up for what he believes in and is willing to risk his life for them.  After moving to the United States because of increasing Taliban control, he gets a job at a gas station and dies in 1987.      

Ali – Ali is Baba’s servant and a father figure to Hassan. Ali is defined by his modesty more than anything, and he works diligently as Baba’s servant. He loves Hassan deeply, though he rarely expresses his emotions outwardly. He has polio disease and is often tormented by children in the town. He was killed by a landmine, and Rahim Khan believed that it was his polio-diseased leg that stepped on it.      

Sohrab – Sohrab is the son of Hassan and Farzana. He grows up with his parents, grandmother and Rahim Khan, but later lives at an orphanage because both of his parents die. During his time at the orphanage he was raped and physically abused by Assef. Later in the novel, and after much trouble, he is adopted by Amir and Soraya.      

Assef – Assef is Hassan’s and Sohrab’s rapist and the evil force of the novel. He is a cruel racist who only wishes to become more powerful and “cleanse” Afghanistan of ethnic groups like the Hazeras. Assef represents all things wrong in Afghanistan. He even considers Hitler as his role model.      

Rahim Khan – Rahim is a friend of Baba and Amir. He is Baba’s closest friend, and the one man who knows all of Baba’s secrets. Rahim gives Amir the love that Amir doesn’t receive from Baba. Right before he dies he brings Amir to Pakistan to tell him about Sohrab and how there is a way to be good again.      

Farid – Farid is Amir’s driver and friend. At first he is unfriendly but later he becomes a valuable and loyal friend to Amir in Amir’s search to find Sohrab.      

Sanaubar – Sanaubar is Hassan’s mother and Ali’s wife for some time. Though Sanaubar abandons Hassan just after he is born, she proves herself a caring grandmother to Sohrab when she reappears later in the novel. She is said to have been a very beautiful lady in her youth.        

Soraya – Soraya is Amir’s wife and the daughter of the Taheris. Soraya is loving, intelligent, and always there for Amir when he needs her. At the age of 18 she ran away from home with a man. She lived with him for quite some time until her father came to their door with a gun, forcing her to come home.      

General Taheri – General Taheri is Soraya’s father and a friend of Baba. General Taheri is a very proud man who places great value on upholding Afghan traditions. In many ways he is the stereotypical Afghan father and husband.       

Jamila – Jamila is General Taheri’s wife and Soraya’s mother. She obeys her husband without question and wants nothing more than to see her daughter married. Jamila is very loving and is very glad that Amir married her daughter.         

Kamal –  Kamal is one of Assef’s friends who assist in the raping of Hassan. Later, Amir sees him on the journey to Pakistan.         

Sharif – Sharif is Soraya’s uncle. When Sharif first appears he is just a minor figure at Soraya’s and Amir’s wedding. Later, however, he becomes vital in helping to get Sohrab into the United States.       

Sofia Akrami – Sofia is Amir’s mother. Although she died during childbirth, she has greatly impacted Amir’s life. When Amir was little he would go into his Father’s study and read all of Sofia’s old books. These books gave Amir a passion for literature.       

Farzana – Farzana is Hassan’s wife and Sohrab’s mother. She appears only briefly, but in that time she is portrayed as a loving mother. In the middle of the novel the Taliban shoot and kill her and Hassan.       

Wali – Wali is one of Assef’s friends who assist in the raping of Hassan.       

Dr. Faruqi – Dr. Faruqi is a head-and-neck surgeon at the hospital Amir stayed at. He has a Clark Gable moustache and Amir kept thinking of him as someone named Armand in some steamy soap set on a tropical island.       

Mr. Fayyaz – Mr. Fayyaz is the hotel manager at the hotel which Amir and Sohrab stay at in Afghanistan. He drives Amir to the Mosque for free when Amir tells him that Sohrab might have run off there.       

Raymond Andrews – Raymond Andrews is a short fellow with small hands, nails perfectly trimmed, with a wedding band on the ring finger. He works in the American Embassy and was the man who Amir and Sohrab first saw regarding the adoption.       

Omar Faisal – Omar Faisal is a chubby, dark man with dimpled cheeks, black button eyes and an affable, gap-toothed smile. He is the sort of fellow who starts a lot of sentences with a laugh and an unnecessary apology, like ‘I’m sorry, I’ll be there at five.’ Laugh. He was the man who tried to help Amir adopt Sohrab and bring him to America.      

     

An Entry Done by Shawn Kurian  

  

 

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